FCB Health New York and McCann Health New Jersey: adding humor in pharma advertising

In the latest from Endpoints News, our agency creatives from FCB Health New York and McCann Health New Jersey share their success with adding humor to advertising in the “Poop Should Never Feel Painful” and "House Rules” campaigns.  

“I didn’t want it to look like an ‘ad ad’ or a functional ad. I wanted people to watch it and have joy and a little bit of fun,” Bruno Abner, Chief Creative Officer at McCann Health New Jersey, noted about creating “House Rules.” He told Endpoints News the humor was purposeful in “making a message appealing and creating contrast in the pharma category. We tried to make it fun, entertaining, very bold and balanced. The humor helped balance the bold and punchiness of the ad.”  

According to Endpoints News, the result was “a confident sex-positive humorous ad for Evofem and Phexxi that grabbed media headlines and consumer attention, while piling up ad industry creative awards and boosting bottom line sales.”   

Agency creatives at FCB Health New York said they used humor as the “emotional connection to consumers and patients” when working on the “Poop Should Never Feel Painful” campaign for OTC stool softener Colace. 

“If you’re not triggering emotions and feelings through your communications, you’re probably not being heard by your audience,” said Melissa Ludwig, Creative Director at FCB Health New York. “With humor specifically, we really feel that it helps people broach topics that are sometimes difficult to talk about — in this case, pooping.”  

“People don’t often want to remember the heavy stuff. So I think with humorous advertising there is a hope that people can hold onto and remember,” Erica Thwaites, FCB Health New York Creative Director said. “… I’m optimistic that the pendulum is swinging to the lighter side of things.”